Day 5 of Browns training camp was mostly centered around short yardage and running the football. We found out a lot more from talking to the coaches about the quarterbacks after practice than we did watching them during drills.
Here are some notes from Thursday’s practice:
- Head coach Mike Pettine allowed “live tackling” during portions of practice and you could hear the intensity. There were some big hits delivered, especially during the final goalline 11 on 11 drill. Running back Ben Tate drilled linebacker Craig Robertson and drove him into the endzone on one play and safety Tashaun Gipson laid out tight end Emmanuel Ogbuehi in the back of the enzone forcing him to drop a touchdown pass from Manziel.
- The competition period for Thursday was the goalline drill I just referenced. It came down to a 3rd & 2 from the 3 yard line with 20 seconds on the clock, one timeout and the offense trailing by five. Even after a penalty, which gave the offense a second chance on an untimed down, they still could not score. The defensive line dominated the end of the drill and the defense won the orange practice jerseys again for Friday.
- While both quarterbacks looked much sharper today than Tuesday, not much could be taken from practice. They threw mostly short crossing patterns or swing passes out of the backfield. After practice, offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan surprised many by saying there is no leader in the competition. That comment comes as a shock to anyone who has watched Manziel struggle through the first week.
- Both Pettine and Shanahan said that Manziel will get reps with the first-team offense “sooner rather than later.”
- Receiver Travis Benjamin and linebacker Jabaal Sheard took part in some good-hearted trash talking in the 11 on 11 portion of practice. I could not tell what Benjamin was saying but Sheard responded with a D-Generation X “crotch chop.” Wresting fans will know what I am talking about.
- Manziel is obviously frustrated that his performances in practice have not been grea,t but he certainly handles himself well in front of the media. You can tell he is really challenging himself and taking it seriously. Hoyer, on the other hand, comes off as the seasoned veteran that he is. He seems like the leader of the offense right now.
- Both offensive lineman John Greco and defensive lineman Billy Winn returned to practice today. Neither would say why they were held out of the first four practices. Pettine has made sure no players reveal and information on their injuries so far in camp.